Where to enlist a guide in Rome

Old Apr 8th, 2014, 02:05 PM
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Where to enlist a guide in Rome


My husband and I will be in Rome for 5 days in May and a friend has recommended an excellent tour guide. We were thinking of using her to see a few sights but are trying to decide which ones are the most worthwhile to have a guide. She has offered the following "packages" though she seems flexible:

Tour 1:
Ancient Rome tour: Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill or Coliseum, Roman Forum, Capitoline hill, Pantheon (4 hours).
Tour 2:
Vatican tour: Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica (4 hours).
Tour 3:
From Trevi Fountain to Piazza Navona. This walk includes highlights such as Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, Via del Corso, Montecitorio, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and fantastic treasures such as Caravaggio in San Luigi dei Francesi and the church of Sant'Ignazio with its incredible false dome (3 hours).
Tour 4:
From Trajan's Forum to Tiber Island. This walk includes Imperial Forums with the Trajan's Forum, Trajan Market, Capitoline hill, Theatre of Marcellus, Portico d'Ottavia, Jewish ghetto,Tiber Island (3 hours).
Tour 5:
Underground Rome.
Basilica of St. Clement (with 2 subterranean levels!) and Roman Houses on Caelian Hill. A fascinating descent into the deepest levels of Ancient Rome to discover houses, places of worship and alleys where once people lived (3 hours).
Tour 6:
Ancient Ostia.
A wonderful archaeological site with lots of evidences on daily life in Roman times, just half an hour from Rome, very easy to reach with a local train (4 hours).
Tour 7:
The Appian way: Bath of Caracalla, Catacombs of San Callisto, Tomb of Cecilia Metella, Quintili's Villa (4 hours). For this magnificent tour is necessary to hire a private driver. The driver with whom I usually work costs 30 euros per hour.
Tour 8:
Villa Borghese and Borghese gallery. Formerly a cardinal’s palace, the Borghese gallery is one of the most gorgeous museums in Rome. It houses famous statues and paintings by masters such as Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Raphael.
Tour 9:
Tivoli: Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana. This is a 5 hours tour, as Tivoli is about 45 minutes from Rome. Also in this case is necessary to hire a driver.
Tour 10:
Rome in 1 day. In order to include all the major highlights, we visit in the morning: Coliseum, part of the Roman Forum, Capitol Hill, Piazza Venezia, Pantheon, Via del Corso, Montecitorio, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps. Lunch in the Spanish steps area. In the afternoon we visit the Vatican (Museums, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica). 8 hours.

Though it would be lovely to have her the whole time, it's not feasible.

Thanks so much

Caitie is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2014, 02:28 PM
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I think the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill really are much more interesting and easy to understand if you have a good guide. The sites are large and complex, and signage is not great. The Colosseum is pretty easy to see on your own, as it's smaller, more obvious, and has excellent signs.

I've never felt that I needed a guide at the Vatican Museums or St. Peter's Basilica, but I've always visited with a good guidebook.

I wouldn't want a walking tour of the Trevi Fountain, etc., area, because I'd want to be free to meander slowly, explore shops, and maybe sit for a while at a table musing on sundry things, rather than trying to maximize the services of a guide.

Tour 4 sounds interesting.

I believe the Villa Borghese has a guide service, and they certainly have audio headphones. I've always visited with a good guidebook.

The one-day tour is way too much, in my opinion. I'd be fit for nothing but a nap about half way through.

For the Underground tour, I would say St. Clements doesn't really need a guide if you have a good guide book; the Roman houses on the Caelian Hill, however, are hard to figure out; they were used for hundreds of years, and frequently modified.

Ancient Ostia would definitely benefit from a good guide.

I would love to go to Hadrian's Villa with a guide, but you'd be paying for five hours, three of which would be travel time. I don't feel that you need a guide at the Villa d'Este.

The catacombs all have their own private tours. San Callisto wouldn't be my first choice if I were visiting a catacomb for the first time. I thought San Clemente had their own guided tours also, but maybe I'm mistaken. The first time I was there, one of the priests showed us around, but that's before it became a bit hit on the tourist trail.
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Old Apr 8th, 2014, 05:20 PM
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We used Daniella Hunt for Tivoli - both sites and it was well worth the money spent.

We really wouldn't have understood much about Hadrian's Villa without her. I believe that she made Villa d' este more interesting for us. We learned a lot and she made it fun. She took care of getting a driver which was nice and they even took us to a little town nearby for dinner, which was great fun.

We were glad we went to both places---Villa d'Este was so beautiful.

I would recommend a guide for Ostia Antica...we were a bit lost and not sure what we were looking at, as we didn't have a guide. I think we missed out on the site by not having one.

Would also get a guide for the Forum--we had one and it helped us.
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Old Apr 8th, 2014, 06:43 PM
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Would you be willing to give me the contact for the guide? I am looking for a Borghese gallery private guide in September. Thanks.
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Old Apr 8th, 2014, 07:03 PM
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Daniella Hunt - http://www.rome-tours.com/index.php ; [email protected]
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Old Apr 9th, 2014, 01:21 AM
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Actually, even experts are not sure what many of the buildings at Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa) were used for. There aren't many other imperial pleasure palaces to compare it to, after all.

Daniela Hunt is indeed excellent, especially for ancient Roman sites.
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